Sunday, May 29, 2011

French Open: Third Round Report

The most anticipated match of this round that everyone was looking forward to was Novak Djokovic vs. Juan Martin Del Potro and yet there was some drama. The mixture of being scheduled last in the main show court, the previous matches going the distance, and the weather being gloomy meant that both men had to wait a long time with the chance that their match might be postponed altogether and/or moved to another court. Both happened. They moved to the other show court, but only managed to play two sets (both men winning one each) before the match was suspended for darkness. Djokovic then went on to extend his win streak to 40 by winning the next two sets they played the next day.

In more shocking news, top seed Caroline Wozniacki falls to 28th seed Daniela Hantuchova managing to win only four games and thereby extending the question of her credibility as the "number one player of the world." While people question her status, people are also wondering what's up with the other top seed, Rafael Nadal. But despite being pushed in his first two rounds, it was vintage Nadal in the third round sweeping a qualifier (who still broke the Spaniard twice in the second set) in straight sets. And despite his earlier problems, one should not be surprised if Nadal makes it look easy the rest of the tournament.

No Americans make it to the second week of the tournament (again... or is that redundant?) with Mardy Fish, Vania King, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands all losing. It's another story for the French though as four French players (Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, and Marion Bartoli) make it to the second week. It could've been five, but Stanislas Wawrinka mounted an impressive five-set comeback against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (who was up two sets and a break). Other notable losses include last year's semifinalist Sam Stosur, Kaia Kanepi, Fernando Verdasco, and Mikhail Youzhny.

There was a slight scare for 4th seed Andy Murray as he sprained his ankle in the middle of his match. In obvious pain, he managed to power through to a relatively "easy" straight-set win, but one hopes that he can recover quickly from the injury especially with the cupcake draw that he has been offered. Other notable straight-set winners include Roger "Under the Radar" Federer, David Ferrer, Robin Soderling, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Francescha Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic, Vera Zvonareva, and Na Li.

Ten of the top 16 seeds are still alive in the men's draw, while 12 remain in the women's draw. Bring on the second week!

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